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Wales to benefit from £10m next-generation broadband investment
Thursday 10 February 2011 12:39:54 by John Hunt

£10 million of funding from the governments £530m commitment to broadband will be spend in Wales to bring super-fast broadband infrastructure it has been announced by the Chancellor George Osborne. This is the first round of funding that Wales will receive through the investment into improving broadband services in the UK. The focus of this money will be to North Wales, specifically Pwllheli, and the surrounding areas.

"Today's announcement shows this Government's commitment that Wales is at the heart of our plans to ensure that UK has the best superfast network in Europe by 2015. For this to work we need to test innovative approaches that bring broadband to hard-to-reach areas and today's announcement of funding to extend superfast broadband to Pwllheli and the surrounding areas of North Wales will do just that. We are committed to working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government to delivering this project in north west Wales."

Cheryl Gillan, Welsh Secretary

The government wanted to have the best broadband in Europe by 2015, but with the limited investment from the government, it seems hard how this can be achieved when other countries are leading the race to install fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). No details of how this money is intended to be spent have been released.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
a bit off the wall, BDUK have another round of funding in a couple of months. Is this to keep the Welsh quiet 'cos they didn't get a project first time round ?
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
Are we not part of the United Kingdom!!!
Posted by welshwarrior over 6 years ago
Typical English sentiment towards Wales when it comes to Broadband I'm afraid!
Posted by huwwatkins over 6 years ago
I think mid and west wales are more in need of this sort of investment!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@NilSatisOptimum, @welshwarrior
I suspect that Herwich was simply querying why BDUK appear to have departed from their stated schedule in making this announcement.

Since Wales is indeed part of the UK, surely any awards should be allocated alongside those for other parts of the country, and awarded on merit based on the same criteria?
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
indeed, BDUK isn't even mentioned in what appears to be a Treasury announcement rather than BIS or DCMS.

<http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/02/10/uk-government-gifts-gbp10m-to-north-wales-superfast-broadband-isp-pilot.html> has a different take on it, but also refers to the initial Welsh wailing.
Posted by m0aur over 6 years ago
Part of The UK it might be, but as Wales, like Scotland already get a disproportionate 25% of the GB purse, they really should be able to afford such things themselves.
Posted by Capn over 6 years ago
This is only the first instalment. My personal experience of Welsh broadband has been good with 50mb Virgin being available in Swansea.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
It's been pointed out elsewhere that the Pwllheli area is where the megarich have their second homes (and yachts) in North Wales. Not that that's relevant at all. Oh no.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
4 pilots announced last October, BDUK criteria for next round to be announced early March and then this pork barrel rolls across the stage !
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Wales has put most of its funding into the £1k per home type of stuff, so maybe this will go down the same drain? all the ones who have spent it on a quick fix will be bleating again in a few years.
They should invest it into a nice fat pipe to the heart of the area and let private investors build NGA affordable networks off the back of it. Digital village pumps. FiWiPie.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CD
The problem with this is that you are not taking into account the cost to deliver the connectivity from the "pump" to the property. As you will find, sorting wayleaves, getting agreement to cross roads, doing the actual work to a standard agreed with the local council etc can be expensive.

You'll quickly see £1k per home disappear with this approach, and that is before you've thought about how to fund a sustainable and reliabel service on the network.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
I think CD's point (and others) is that localism can probably build a first mile access network with fibre and/or wireless probably at substantial discount to a corporate approach, but it can't do a 30 mile link or a connection to an internet peering point.

If every BT exchange were an internet peering point at peering prices who knows what might evolve. Village pumps take it further by doing the long run to the exchange too.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Herdwick
I remain sceptical about the ability of "localism" to deliver a fit-for-purpose solution at low cost. There is frequent mention of using farmers to lay fibre across fields, which is fine, no mention about road crossings etc.

Also, even if farmers do lay fibre, you do still need wayleaves to ensure the fibre can remain in place if there is a change of ownership of the land.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Finally, there is never any mention of how they will avoid the creation of local monopolies, nor how service will be maintained in-life. Without this I'd be reluctant to put my business traffic on such a service.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Finally, there is never any mention of how they will avoid the creation of local monopolies, nor how service will be maintained in-life. Without this I'd be reluctant to put my business traffic on such a service.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
While Pwllheli may be seen as a bit of a playboy's playground, leave the town and things can be very different, sparse clusters of properties.

The real unanswered question at this time, is are they talking about just Pwllheli postcodes or a fair chunk of the penisula. If just the town, then it could just be any market 1 exchange in the country.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
I think in a pilot exercise it is worth giving different things other than county wide procurement a chance. Subsidising FTTC will give us doughnuts of NGA.

Crossing roads isn't a big deal, existing drains and watercourses (even irrigation) may do it already or as at Ashby you get a local streetworks contractor to do it. There's a bloke in the next village to me licensed to dig.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Rutland Telecom and others create local monopolies. A local monopoly may actually be the price you pay to get a service in an area where nobody has improved the service in the last 8 years.

It's not a true monopoly either, you have the existing BT provision from a SMP provider, and something else as an alternative.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Maintaining service in life is largely an economic question, there are plenty of network operators and remote management teams on tap to run it for you if there isn't a local company. A sustainable business plan should not be impossible, especially with capital funding for the network build.
Posted by Dewi32 over 6 years ago
I Live in Pwllheli

Afaik the 'nice fat pipe to the heart of the area' is already here, it has been for the past 18moths. You can still the and follow the trench marks that were dug. It does not enter any farmland, it follows the highway (mainly curb) for 30 miles where it joins up with the A55 and continues. The trench marks stop right at the entrance to the towm but I believe they used another method from here on...drains perhaps, i dont know.
Posted by Dewi32 over 6 years ago
excuse the the typo's. I kept getting disturbed while writing that out :D
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
I did wonder why this investment seems concentrated just one part of wales, thanks to cj for the answer."It's been pointed out elsewhere that the Pwllheli area is where the megarich have their second homes (and yachts) in North Wales. Not that that's relevant at all. Oh no. "
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Concentrated because £10m does not stretch that far really.

After the trials there is around £480m left in the BDUK money pot.
Posted by rkimber over 6 years ago
As usual, West Wales gets left behind.
Posted by Enrico21 over 6 years ago
I also live in West Wales. It seems that the Welsh Assembly Govt plan is for Welsh businesses to get access to Next Gen broadband by 2016 & all Welsh households by 2020 - refer:http://wales.gov.uk/topics/businessandeconomy/broadbandandict/broadband/nextgenerationbb/?lang=en
Now time to think about satellite connection perhaps.
Posted by majika2007 over 6 years ago
Its always good news to see anything regarding the word investment and Wales in the same sentence, however, considering that most of the budgeting issues are still made in Westminster its a shame to see that we are left out in the cold when it comes to issues such as Broadband Services. We need Faster BBand provisions not just in North Wales but all areas in Wales especially in the South
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